Tuesday, July 15, 2014

About those assassination attempts...

[I]t is highly unlikely that Bonhoeffer was involved in any assassination attempts. Chapter 3 explored Bonhoeffer’s work in the Abwehr, the military intelligence agency, and discussed in some detail the five assassination attempts between 1938 and 1944 that are most relevant to Bonhoeffer’s life. It should be clear from these discussions that Bonhoeffer had no involvement in any of them.—Bonhoeffer the Assassin?, page 224

<idle musing>
As much as I would like to believe them, I can't overthrow the testimony of Bethge...I have to agree with Roger Olson on this one (and against Scot McKnight).

That being said, I believe that he never gave up on his pacifist beliefs (in line with the authors). His Ethics is full of it—but it is also full of the nature of what it means to live in a fallen world and take on that fallenness in a redemptive way.

In the end, I think Nation, et al., are wrong about Bonhoeffer's involvement, but correct that he never gave up on pacifism and God's power. A paradox, indeed. And who isn't full of paradoxes? I think the way out of this paradox is Just Peacemaking. It certainly helped me in my stand on pacifism. Only now I would call it nonresistance, based on my reading of Love and Nonresistance a few years back.

Long way around to say that Bonhoeffer, for all his faults and frailties, was a follower of Christ, doing what he thought was faithful to Christ in a difficult world. Would that we were half as faithful...
</idle musing>

1 comment:

That's my 2 cents! said...

James I really love this series of posts you've done around this book about Bonhoeffer.

There are two ways for sin to be removed from the world. The life, cross, death, and resurrection of Jesus. (This is the preferred way for God and Christ followers). The second way is for the sinner to die, thus ending both sinner and his sins. If we believe there is an eternal being who hates God, with an eternal hatred, why do we struggle believing there are his disciples who share such a hatred and who have eternally sought Satan's self-destructive foolishness?

Thankfully there are relatively few throughout history who have been Hitlers. We can only pray we'll miss the next one in our life time.

Grace and peace,